Tense European night awaits in Peristeri
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 3rd QUALIFYING ROUND (Leg 2)
AGONAsport previews the second leg of the 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round between Atromitos and Legia Warsaw.
Atromitos have a golden opportunity to edge closer to the group phase of the Europa League. When the draw was made for the third qualifying round, Legia Warsaw were immediate favourites to advance, but Atromitos have proven that they are capable of keeping the dangerous Poles at bay.
Last week, Atromitos predictably opted to sit back in defence, allowing Legia to control the ball as they wished. However, for all of their impressive build-up play, Legia struggled when they got close to the penalty area as the defiant Atromitos back line coped with the pressure. Hungarian goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri was superb between the sticks for the visitors, pulling off a few excellent saves to deny the hosts the victory.
Nevertheless, despite their solid defensive showing in Poland, Atromitos failed to score an away goal and Legia know that one marker in Peristeri could be enough to progress. A victory for either club will send the respective team through, but if the game ends in a score draw (i.e. 1:1 or 2:2), Legia will advance on the away goals rule. 0:0 takes the tie into extra time.
Legia did not play in the Ekstraklasa at the weekend.
TEAM NEWS: ATROMITOS
Kyriakos Kivrakidis missed the first game in Poland due to injury and hasn’t been included in the squad for this match after training individually. Atromitos boss Giannis Anastasiou has called on his players to play more aggressively in attack.
Possible line-up: Megyeri, Katranis, Goutas, Khila, Risvanis, Natsos, Umbides, Madson, Charisis, Manousos, Vellios.
TEAM NEWS: LEGIA WARSAW
In a major blow to Legia, key Croatian midfielder Domagoj Antolic has suffered an injury and won’t play in Peristeri. Vamara Sanogo and William Remy, who both weren’t available to compete in the first leg, won’t play in the second game either. Legia will look to control the play in Peristeri and add an end product to their slick ball movement.
Possible line-up: Majecki, Rocha, Jędrzejczyk, Lewczuk, Vesovic, Gvilla, Martins, Nagy, Novikovas, Carlitos, Kulenovic.
REFEREE: BAS NIJHUIS (NED)
Nijhuis, 42, has been charged with overseeing proceedings in Greece. A FIFA referee since 2007, the Dutchman has worked over 14 UEFA Champions League games in his career, and he has also refereed 33 Europa League games.
In the past, Nijhuis has been the referee for four European games involving AEK, Olympiacos and PAOK, with the Greeks emerging victorious in all of those matches.
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (NED)
Assistant referees: Bas van Dongen (NED), Rogier Honig (NED)
Fourth official: Siemen Mulder (NED)